Hope all is well! I wanted to give some insight into how I’ve found my undergraduate engineering degree at the University of Toronto. I think it would have helped or been nice when I was applying and I hope it’s useful for some of you. I’m also going to leave some links in the bubbles below for more information.
I’m in my second year of mechanical engineering and I came through the Track One course in first year. I was always a little hesitant or indecisive between picking courses and so Track One is a fantastic choice to help you narrow down and get you a little more time before you have to choose what you want to study. All first year engineering courses are similar and if you want to switch between them you can so it’s not set in stone. I found first year a little harder because I’m from the UK and so the course style and syllabus is a little different. I know a lot of people focus on grades and it can impact them a lot. I think what you’ve known before from high school is going to vary because U of T is a global university and people come from so many grading systems. I think if I could give any advice it would be to refresh your perspective and if you’re enjoying work and the Skule community you’ll do great. It is different but for those of you who are more inclined to know, you’ll adapt quickly. From my experience and upper years advice, the work gets more enjoyable as you choose what you like to study and it’s easier in that respect.
And moving onto my favourite part of U of T engineering, it’s got to be the amazing community that is here. I’ve met some great friends and people on campus from clubs and sports I’m part of to just brief conversations and one-off events. People are open and willing to help out all the time and everyone has something exciting to tell that they may have experienced or are working on. This Skule (UofT engineering) community is an important part of our days and connects us closely as well as the bigger U of T connection and it’s really what you put in is what you get out – get involved! The whole community’s experience and advice for opportunities in research, jobs, roles and clubs is very so valuable and these conversations are great to have with people and friends.
As for what clubs and societies in particular, I’m involved in the Skule charity and community outreach team (SCOre)! I’m so lucky I got to organise a plastic clean up at the waterfront in Toronto this year and that so many of the Skule community wanted to join in! I also play a lot of soccer and had an incredible experience in winning the U of T intramural league in my first year. There’s definitely time for non-academic activities and knowing what self care and that balance means to you is a big part of university – and the people in our community are the best to ask!
My experience is that if you are willing to be fairly self-disciplined so you can work hard and take time off, then you’ll experience a lot here. Please check out some other resources such as the courses, extra curriculars, etc. and I don’t have much space to share my experiences and I’ve only just scratched the surface. I remember when I was applying and not knowing anyone at U of T – it was a daunting at times. Now that many of you are applying or heading this way, I hope my experiences so far get to help some of you. I do wish this helps you but of course it’s not a substitute for your own research and it’s just one person’s view so consider the options for yourself. The hardest thing to ask is to make your own opinion when there’s so much information out there. Reach out to me, or anyone who may have been here and we’re all happy to help!